What Triggers Mental Illness?

Mental illness does not discriminate, it can affect anyone. A mental illness can make you miserable and cause problems in your daily life, such as at school, work, or relationships. What are some of the triggers that can cause mental illness? How to prevent it?

Mental illnesses or mental disorders are conditions that affect your thinking, feeling, mood, and behavior. They may be occasional or long-lasting. They can affect your ability to relate to others and function each day. Can mental health problems be avoided? If you have been struggling with a newly developing mental illness or mental health concern, you might be wondering what you could have done differently.

What Triggers Mental Illness

More Than Just A Concern

Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. For example, there may be a loss in the family, or something traumatic happens, but you get through it eventually.  But a mental health concern is different when it becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.

A mental illness can make you miserable and cause problems in your daily life, such as at school, work, or relationships. Most mental illnesses don’t have a single cause on why they happen. Instead, they have many causes, called risk factors. The more risk factors one has, the more likely you are to develop a mental illness. Sometimes, mental illness creeps up on a person and develops gradually over time. Other times, it doesn’t appear until a stressful event triggers it.

The Many Types Of Mental Illnesses

There are many different types of mental illness. Some common ones include:

  • Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias
  • Depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia

Does Mental Illness Have Triggers?

There are many risk factors and triggers, but here are a few examples:

  • Genetics – Mental illness often runs in the family.
  • Environment – Living in a stressful environment, like an abusive family, can make you more likely to develop a mental illness. Things like this put a lot of stress on your brain and often trigger mental illness.
  • Childhood trauma – Traumatic events during childhood, such as being sexually abused, can impact later in life.
  • Stressful events – like losing a loved one, or being in a car accident.
  • Negative thoughts – constantly putting yourself down or expecting the worst can get you stuck in a cycle of depression or anxiety.
  • Unhealthy habits – like not getting enough sleep, or not eating.
  • Drugs and alcohol – Abusing drugs and alcohol can trigger a mental illness. It can also make it harder to recover from mental illness.
  • Brain chemistry – Mental illness involves an imbalance of natural chemicals in your brain and your body.

These risk factors don’t just affect who will develop a mental illness in the first place. They also affect how severe their symptoms will be and when they will experience those symptoms.

Can I Prevent Mental Illness?

There’s not really any sure way to prevent mental illness. But, if you have a mental illness, taking steps to control stress, increase your resilience, and boost low self-esteem may help keep your symptoms under control. Follow these steps:

  • Stay alert and pay attention to warning signs. If you have a doctor or a therapist, work together to figure out your triggers and make a plan so that you know what to do if symptoms return. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any changes in symptoms or how you feel. In addition, consider involving family members or friends to watch for warning signs.
  • Stay up to date with your medical care. You can’t afford to neglect checkups or skip visits to your primary care provider, especially if you haven’t been feeling well. You may have a new health problem that needs to be treated, or you may be experiencing side effects of medication.
  • Get help immediately when you need it. Mental health conditions can be harder to treat if you wait until symptoms get bad. Long-term maintenance treatment also may help prevent a relapse of symptoms.
  • Take care of yourself. Getting enough sleep, healthy eating and regular physical activity are important. Try to maintain a regular schedule.

On Call Treatment Treats More Than Addiction

At On Call Treatment Center, we treat more than substance abuse; we also treat many different forms of mental illnesses. This is done through our CBT Therapy Programs. One of the most common and most studied forms of psychological treatment is called Cognitive behavioral therapy. It is effective for various problems, including anxiety disorders, depression, alcohol and other substance abuse disorders, marital problems, eating disorders, and other severe mental illnesses. The idea behind cognitive therapy is to form a clear idea of your very own thoughts, expectations, and attitudes. On Call Treatment can help.